One man's point of view of baseball from the international angle, and exploring how the game is expanding across the globe.
Nice article. A couple things:1)Yes, RBI's do show who is a good hitter, but those hitters get to hit in those positions because they are good hitters. If they weren't good hitters, they would hit somewhere else. That being said, comparing all the good hitters together with RBI is surely possible, but in no way am I prepared to say Eddie Murray is a better hitter than Mays. Still, overall it is indicative.2)Not sure the A=B thing works. I think RBI's are more of a by-product of being good. They don't really make you good.3) In regard to the last paragraph, I would also like to see a stat like that, but I have a concern. Would it become like a save where people try to get it just to have it? Maybe it wouldn't become that important, but hitting grounders to the right side of the infield just to move the guy over is poor hitting. Sure, with a guy on second, you should try hitting it that direction, but you should still try hitting it hard and for doubles instead of outs.Still, I think in the rush to come to sabermetrics, we've de-emphasized the RBI too much. RBI is a symbol of the old ways, and we can't have that. So we insult it enough to devalue it. Like you said, it's a good tool, just not the only one and shouldn't be used by itself. I have a sabermetrics/traditional stats post I'm working on for sometime soon.
Mark,Good points, all. On 1, I agree. That's the point I was trying to make about the 'context' issue. It is relative, and shouldn't be used as a stand alone indicator, but then, neither should any stat.On 2, I agree. After I thought about it, I realized it wasn't the best argument, but it is a good way to get people discussing the article. There are some people who will have a hissy fit over that.On 3, it should be counted somehow, but I don't really know how to do it. I figure the stat heads can deal with it, but it is important.Your last statement is perfect. Exactly what I was trying to get across. Thanks.
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